I am converting to Catholicism. For the reals. I am actually IN the process as we speak.
In fact, I am at the part of the process that is the most intense: Lent/Easter and my first Eucharist.
For the past 7 months D and I have been attending class on what it means to become a Catholic, and I have to say it has been surprisingly enjoyable! I love my classmates, and the education is very interesting. One would think that D would be bored as he is what they call a "Cradle Catholic" (born in to the faith), but honestly, I think he has learned just as much as I have about his church.
I am surprised at myself. I did not see conversion to ANYTHING in my future. My faith has been complete since I was a child - not always practiced, but complete nonetheless.
I guess this is what happens when contemplating how to change "my future" in to "our future".
I am converting to Catholicism. For the reals. I am actually IN the process as we speak.
Happy New Year!
It has happened again, yes? This annual rolling around of a brand new start.
Did you take advantage of it? Did you need to take advantage of it?
I have been observing lately. I have been particularly drawn to those people who always have something in "the works". Whether it is art, a family activity, a social event, or personal improvement - I am surrounded by people who pack more in a day than I can fit in to a week.
I want to be like them.
I know that some of the people I admire are plagued with demons that I am not equipped to deal with (bipolar, scars from abuse, etc) and others have vices that carry them farther and longer than the average human ... and I don't want to have THAT part of their productive/artistic nature.
Do they always have to go hand-in-hand, though?
On a serious note, I will be sharing my New Years/New Start resolutions with you now:
In the year of 2014, I hereby resolve to buy more art. I also resolve to make some of my own.
I resolve to purchase or borrow more books - and read them sober (that makes a difference, you know). I also will write some words of my own.
I resolve to be recognize and act on my own extraordinariness. I resolve to honor yours.
Happy New Year/New Start to you. Much love!
I take this every once in awhile - just to see if my personality has improved. I think the answer is no.
Here are my newest results:
Your Existing Situation
"Is stubborn and strong-willed, once her mind is made up it is impossible to change it. she does not ask for much, so she feels when she does ask her needs should be met."
Your Stress Sources
"Unfulfilled hopes have left her feeling uncertain and even a little fearful about the future. Needs to feel secure and avoid further disappointment; fears she will be looked over, lose her position, or lose respect. Has little hope that things will get better in time and her negative attitude leads her to place impossible demands on others or to compromise or bargain."
Your Restrained Characteristics
"Self-centered, tends to take this personally and is easily offended."
Current situations force her into compromise and placing her own hopes and desires on hold for the time being.
Feels trapped in a helpless situation and is desperately seeking relief. she is able to find pleasure and happiness in sexual activity.
"Feels she is not receiving her fair share and is unable to rely on anyone for support or sympathy. she keeps her emotions bottled up, leaving her quick to take offense to small things. she tries to make the best of her situation."
"Feels trapped in a helpless situation and is desperately seeking relief. she is able to find pleasure and happiness in sexual activity, as long as there is not a lot of conflict or emotional difficulty."
Your Desired Objective
"Wishes to live in a calm, peaceful, relaxing environment, where everyone gets along and there is a strong sense of belonging."
Your Actual Problem
Disappointed because her hopes have not come to pass and she fears coming up with new goals will only lead to further disappointment. These conflicting emotions lead to a feeling of anxiety and depression. she tries to escape into a peaceful and calm relationship which offers encouragement and protection from further disappointment.
- Aug 7th 2007 - signed the separation agreement to start the divorce proceedings. NOT my idea. I was the respondent. (A grateful one.)
- Sept 15th 2007 - moved out of the house at my ex's urging...I probably would have stayed forever only because I had never been out on my own before.
- Oct 7th 2007 - my 18th wedding anniversary. I got a really nasty text from the ex. It helped solidify my closure.
- Oct 9th 2007 - first email from D. We exchanged 32 emails over the next two days. I still read them every anniversary. Yes, they really are that sweet.
- Oct 11th 2007 - FIRST DATE with D! It was a blind date. A wonderful, magical first and blind date.
- Nov 16th 2007 - divorce decree signed by the judge.
I am used to him saying horrible and degrading things like that - he has been saying things like that about (and to) me since I was 16 years old. But you - you are a woman. And you know better.
- politically discouraged.
- in love with my children. Every one of them. Ridiculously so.
- disappointed with my level of personal accountability.
- grateful for a new life - especially when I see my old life through others' eyes.
- encouraged by the blessings that turn up every day.
- still me.
I have been thinking about apologies lately. Obsessing might be the correct term. Not that I am obsessing over who I owe an apology to - just whether or not I should actually follow through on said apology.
Would it make a difference? Who would it make a difference to? Am I apologizing for my own sake? Or am I saying I am sorry to make someone else feel better? What is my motivation? Do I really owe the apology, or am I reacting to someone else's guilt trip? Am I trying to aleviate my own shame? Do I even need to feel ashamed? Is there more that I should be feeling ashamed about? Am I addressing every wrong that needs addressing? Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?
See what I mean?
Steeled Soul, a photo by tielji on Flickr.
2010 was a tumultuous, sickening, exhilarating, devastating and an all around eventful year. I was so glad to be entering 2011 with all of the pieces of my life put back where I thought they oughta be. D and I had reconciled - although we still didn't have any idea what to do with this relationship to make and keep it healthy for both of us. My kids were doing well at home and at school - although I was starting to emotionally separate from my daughter in apprehension of her "leaving me" and going to college. My relationships with my mom and dad were both intact and everyone was - for the most part- happy and healthy. I was at poverty level financially, but felt very wealthy in terms of friends and family.
Part of any relationship is sharing with the other those things that make one feel special and cared for - and being honest about the things that don't. Being able to say "Hey! This is not okay!" is crucial to the health of a partnership. And I am not good at it. I am good at pouting. I am good at obscure references and the silent treatment. I can drop hints and exaggerated sighs like a B2 Bomber. But the straightforward approach escapes me.
This year, when planning out holiday celebrations with various family factions, it just so happened that D will be spending New Years Eve in Kansas with his family hunting and opening presents. I, on the other hand, am childless and now boyfriend-less on this very special milestone holiday. And while my brain gets the logistics of what our situation is, the little brat inside of me is throwing a temper tantrum because I don't get my way - I don't get to dress up, party, and kiss my boyfriend at midnight. Ugh. Such a terrible plight.
But really, it's more than that. I don't want to spend any holidays by myself.
I spent the previous week simpering and sighing every time that NYE came up in conversation (something I do before every holiday or special occasion that doesn't pan out my way). I repeated all of my finely honed poor communication skills - with the expected poor results. Finally, in an obviously-channeled-from-a-healthy-person session, I very clearly said: Hey, I have to tell you something. I have a problem. I am not okay with being alone on holidays. And you know what? It was easy! And good! It works! Did D change his plans and ruin his kids' time with their grandparents so that I could have my way on NYE? No. Thank goodness. But we were able to have a conversation about my feelings and expectations.
I was surprised to learn that NYE is not that big of a deal to my boyfriend. I count it as one of my "High Holidays". I reminded him of how special the NYE we spent in Boston was. Of how much fun we had going to see Benjamin Buttons another year - we went to the theatre in one year and came out of the theatre in another year, etc.
Yet, today when I was getting my head and heart right to be okay with being "alone" tonight, it dawned on me: when I was reminding him of the special NYE celebrations we have enjoyed over the past few years, I did not mention last year. Not one word was spoken about the transition from 2010 to 2011, even with all of it's drama and events. You know why?
I can't remember what we did. Or if we were even together.
I will have two special gifts for myself as we go in to the new year - one is the ability to trust that I can express my wants and needs in a healthy, constructive way. The other will be a newly written reflection of 2011. I don't want to spend anymore time this year dreading things that haven't happened or might not be as bad as I think they will be. I want to celebrate and be grateful for those moments full of joy and contentment.
Happy New Year, my friends. <3
And I am. Some of the time.
But I also seem to have another person living in me. Another person who can make a guest appearance at any given, random time. This person is nasty, peevish, cruel, judgmental, ruuuuude, and irrational to say the least.
I shouldn't say that this person shows up randomly - it really isn't as random as I would like. She can show up any random time I am drinking.
I have spent the last 15 years trying to decipher her code, trying to ward off her appearance and to somehow predict her pattern. She just does so much damage all the while using my name and my mouth.
Maybe she only comes when I don't eat enough before I drink. Or maybe I shouldn't drink cheap(er) alcohol. Maybe I was just out of my element this time, giving her a foot in the door. Perhaps I was really emotional this time drinking and that brought her around. Maybe I just don't metabolize alcohol the same since I quit smoking, and my body will come back in to balance with time. Maybe it was because I was hormonal. Or maybe I shouldn't mix my alcohols. Maybe I should only drink wine. Or beer. Or blahblahblah ad nauseum..
It is sad how much time and effort I have had to put in to repairing damage caused in my personal life (and maybe my professional life if I am honest about it). I have hurt people that I care about so very much, I have embarrassed the man that I love with my whole heart, and have made my family come to me with their concerns more than once.
Why would I continue down this road? I obviously have failed to figure out how to drink without having it turn out badly every so often. In fact, this game of Russian Roulette has more live rounds in the gun than it does blanks - more sorrowful Saturday mornings trying to piece together what chaos I have wreaked upon my loved ones than not.
The only way to guarantee victory over this particularly damaging part of my life is this:
I admit that I have a problem with alcohol. And I am committed to living my life alcohol-free from this day forth.
Not because I think it will make my life better, or fix any problem that I have right now - I just know that if I drink anymore it will make my life exponentially worse. And I am tired of hurting myself by destroying relationships and opportunities just because I haven't figured out the "right formula".
And I know that there will be many people in my world who will doubt that I can follow through on this intention - and that is okay. If I focus on what everyone else expects of me, I am sure to fail. And I may fail anyway - who knows?
But I have to say that the joy and freedom that comes to me through this decision (Yay! "She's" never coming back to hurt me or anyone else!) is liberating.
I feel free. And hopeful. And ambitious. And ...well, I feel good. Something I haven't felt in a long time.
Merry Christmas to you and me! <3
One of the only benefits to having a broken heart is the "Break up and Die" diet. Good GRIEF that was awesome! I lost every ounce of weight that I put on when I quit smoking in three weeks! I had the best time pulling my favorite outfits out of solitary confinement (otherwise known as the "I will fit into this again one day, I swear to God" section of the closet). Honestly, it was like getting a whole new wardrobe! A whole new wardrobe that most of which had since become outdated - and was promptly sent to Goodwill.
When BF and I got back together, I slowly put back on that ole Quit Weight. However, it couldn't be called Quit Weight anymore - now it could only be called Happy Fat.
Happy Fat stinks. It won't exercise off, it won't starve off, it won't melt off with sauna heat - noooo, Happy Fat is here to stay.
I am grateful that Happy Fat can be camouflaged and hidden with the right clothing, but I want to dance naked (in my own home when noone is there, by the way) at least one more time before I turn into an old lady - and Happy Fat doesn't dance naked.
The only solution that I can think of is the "Break up and Die" diet, and every once in awhile I get desperate enough to contemplate starting the process.
Thankfully - my heart knows how to trump my vanity and will shake some sense back into my head.
I just wish that when my heart shook some sense into my head, my Happy Fat wouldn't jiggle so much.
I don't care. (Not caring is called apathy. Apathy is a real word.)
Morosity - a constant state of morose-ness. (I made this up)
1.gloomily or sullenly ill-humored, as a person or mood.
2.characterized by or expressing gloom.
Good grief - I have always thought of myself as a relatively cheery and optimistic person.
It was BF who rather bluntly enlightened me with the news that I am showing all of the symptoms of chronic depression. (He wasn't that nice or elegant about it, though.)
I think the term "Chronic Depression" in itself is too broad, too much of a cop-out for everyday maladies and bad attitudes. A catch-all phrase, a generic way of explaining away being lethargic and uninspired.
I think I am just a morose person!
A beautiful sunset is mourned because it changes too quickly and goes away - never to be seen again.
A tender moment of holding hands brings a peculiar ache to the heart as the hands will separate soon and the closeness experienced will be encroached upon by time and distraction.
The joy of a reunion with a loved one is overshadowed by anticipation of the impending pain of separating again.
Morosity. I don't want it anymore. Going to find me some endorphins and serotonins and marshal my gloom and doom thoughts right on out the door until I can see sunshine in my heart again.
I can only hope it lasts... *sigh*
(Ha! See? I made a funny joke! Take THAT, morosity!)
You all know (well, some of you know) that I quit smoking using the Quitnet.com.
Internet-ANYthing is such a great sociological experiment, but an internet support system for kicking an addiction is another animal altogether. It is very intense. I think it is due to the power of the written word, but also because of the (sometimes false) sense of knowing other people very intimately because you communicate so often.
I have met the finest people on the world wide web. And most of them I met on the Q.
Often the Q will have a huge get-together where people from all over the world will come meet each other in person. These days, meetings like this are called conventions and are not very out of the ordinary. But 4 years ago it was still pretty shaky. Our friends and family were nervous for our safety and questioning our sanity. I mean, really! Who flies (or drives) thousands of miles to hang out with total strangers for the weekend for no other reason except to connect a face to a screen name?
At one such get-together, we all gathered in Chicago. (What a wonderful place!) I road-tripped with my Q-Bud Taceon, stayed in NE with another Q-Bud Courtne, and saw all of Chicago's finest tourist spots with Brnhiker and Spmozart - all people that I would have never known if not for the Q.
And amongst the 100 or so beloved strangers I was blessed to meet, there was RobQuit. Yes, I got to meet RobQuit in Chicago.
What a handsome devil. What a Q legend. What an amazing man, husband and father. What a fabulous friend.
He became my most precious penpal and support from afar - through my divorce, through my dating, through my life ills, and child raising disasters - he was there.
But now he isn't.
And he won't ever be there again.
Rob passed away this morning. From cancer.
It isn't fair.
I must apologize for the poison and nastiness in my last post. I have actually been that angry and hurt-y inside all summer long, it seems. Not only did I have myself convinced that I was the victim, but I allowed myself the luxury of striking out blindly against the ones that I love the most. How in the world did I let that happen?
Last summer it was the broken heart. This summer it was the bitter heart. If I don't get a handle on things, who knows what my heart will do next summer?
Enough of all of that.
I need to take the reigns of my emotion back before I damage any more relationships that are important to me. I need to forgive, speak words of peace, and most of all - I need to remember to be kind. To everyone. Including myself.
What a concept, eh?
You seem to instinctively know this. And to delight in it.
Yes, you are successful. And beautiful. And sexy. And well-known. And feared. You are a collection of every woman that I have been given the opportunity to interact with and learn how to deal with your specific personality type - and I have failed every time.
When you interfered with my job, I was horrified. I was sure that everyone else could see what was happening and that Justice would prevail. Surely using your sexuality to advance your position was trite - a cliche from the movies or magazines! I was sure that you would be found out and that you would have to be sorry for the destruction you caused in my life.
In the end, I ended up removing myself from the situation and Justice never prevailed like I had pictured. I am ashamed to admit, however, that I take a small grain of pleasure whenever I hear the high-school boys snicker about the advances you make on them even still.
When you interfered with my marriage I was bewildered. I was sure that this was not happening - this Jerry Springer episode in my front yard, my living room, my kitchen - with two of my three babies looking on. It took me years to recover from the venom that you spewed (presumably on my husband's behalf). I never got over the spinelessness with which your attack was met. My marriage did not recover from your assault simply because I could not forgive my man for allowing you to treat me that way. I removed myself from the situation once again. And once again, I am ashamed to admit that I sometimes gloat when I see that your own relationships are a shipwreck. You are now old, alone and bitter.
When you showed up at my job again a few years later, you weren't beautiful. You weren't clever, nor did I feel that you were someone that I should be wary of.
When I reported you for breaking in to the boss's office to paw through everyone's files, I thought that would be the end of your antics. I never saw the degradation or the loss of reputation happening for me personally - I thought you were only talking smack about my poor co-workers. When the damage you had been causing me professionally came to light, it was much too late to do anything about. And so once again, I removed myself from the situation. And once again, I console myself with the fact that you are still lack beauty, talent and the respect from anyone that you work with. They fear you - because you are a nutcase. But respect? Nope.
Here you are again. In my new life. I obviously need to learn whatever lesson you are sent to teach me, because you keep arriving on my scene like a bad penny.
Only this time - you also hurt my children with your pettiness and narcissism.
There are many things that I wish I could tell you - things I wish would make a difference in how we interact. Like, for instance, I wasn't raised to be on the lookout for women of your vein. My mother, Aunt, and Grandma were genuine, sincere and solid in their support and affection for each other and every other woman in their life. And they insisted that I be the same way.
We are your biggest cheerleader when you attempt something - even if you have tried it before a million times.
We are your biggest champion when speaking about you to others - always put your fellow (wo)man in the very best light, and be confident that the same consideration is returned.
Never talk smack, nor allow any smack to be talked about regarding other women.
Always speak healing and supportive words when discussing a rift between others, whether it is a friendship or marriage.
Be a messenger of peace and a balm on those deep wounds that life inflicts on all of us women.
Support. Love. Refrain from being catty or rude.
Be solid in your determination to support your fellow womankind.
But because you are unable to appreciate any of these attitudes - possibly because it makes me seem weaker than you - you will never enjoy the camaraderie that living like this provides.
And as I once again remove myself from the situation so that you cannot cause more damage to the kids and I, I regretfully take pleasure in that truth.
I have missed you, too.
But here's the thing - my world is warping and exploding and shrinking and growing and just generally becoming unmanageable.
Why the unnecessary dramatic language, you wonder?
My daughter is graduating from high school in less than two weeks. And then she is off to college.
I can't even write about it without welling up with tears. It's not that I don't want her to blossom and grow and flourish and fly - I just want her to do it here with me! And that isn't fair. I know that I am supposed to be thrilled that she is wanting to explore the world and investigate every aspect of how she will relate to our society as a whole and healthy, productive, giving, nurturing and loving human being...and most parts of me are so very thrilled, I swear. This is a beautiful culmination of every maternal duty I was charged with when she was born!
But the part of me that isn't thrilled is plain heartbroken. I didn't expect to feel this way. I am mourning already and so afraid of just how bad this mourning can get.
She was the very first human that I ever loved with every fiber of my being.
And while I will let her go with as much grace and dignity as I can muster, and I will be her biggest supporter in creating a future that has nothing to do with mommy's wants, opinions, rules, hangups and/or feelings - it will be somewhat of a facade. A farce, if you will.
Because, really, if you could see into my heart you would see me throwing myself on the floor and begging her to stay.
Just stay a bit longer with me, my little TaylorBooBerry.
Age and maturity (?) have brought me perspective on which issues really need to be "worked out in fear and trembling", and which ones can be fodder for theological debate but are not worth my time laboring over the validity of.
Going to mass with D has been so good for this heart that KNOWS the liturgy - but after a lifetime of indoctrination, just couldn't open up enough to embrace and believe.
It's so ironic to have been raised in a spirit-filled, nondenominational charismatic church with a rock band for a worship team, three services a week, plus Christian School Monday through Friday - and here in a staid, symbol-laden Mass is where I finally meet my God.
I hope this Easter season has blessed you as much as it has me.
If you remember correctly, BF and I gave up alcohol for Lent. I am telling you right now - I have never been so excited for Easter Sunday in my life! I am planning to have Screwdrivers with my breakfast. Not kidding you. Or maybe Bloody Mary's first thing after midnight.
Come on over. I promise not to try and convert you whilst I pour mixed drinks with reckless abandon.
What is your definition of friend? Do you have many friends - or just a couple and the rest are just acquaintances? Do you have lifelong friends - or friends for a season?
I define friend as someone who can have a conversation with me at any given time of the day, on just about any subject. A friend will ask about my kids. A friend nods knowingly, with a half smile and twinkle in their eye when I recount (maybe in repeat) an escapade involving either bf, parents or rugrats. A friend knows when I an about to cry and quickly grabs a tissue or tells a silly joke, causing my tears great confusion - are we crying from laughter or despair? A friend will interject positive reinforcement when it comes to a conversation regarding me that might be going south - even if I am not present. A friend maintains hope that I will achieve what I set out for - even after I have failed to reach those same goals before.
A friend lets me see when they are hurting. A friend tells me about their bogey monster and does not feel like they need to candy coat their fear. A friend lets me hold them in a fierce protective bear hug when they are reeling from one of life's inevitable right hooks. A friend doesn't expect me to have the right words to say - and doesn't feel slighted when I have no words to say at all.
A friend laughs at my attempts to be clever and witty when I try to lighten the moment. A friend appreciates my effort to make them feel loved even when it's done with banana bread that tastes horrible.
A friend doesn't judge my value by what I wear, where I make my money, where I live, what I drive, who I love, where and who I worship, or what color my skin is.
My friends expect the best from me, forgive the worst about me, promote the vision of a perfect me, and appreciate the me that I already am.
And I am grateful to be blessed with more than a few friends - lifelong AND seasonal.
My mother is jealous of time spent with others (her own words), and it is her clarity on the issue that allows me to understand where my own thoughts torment me.
I am jealous of others' affection. I crave the status of favorite in everyone's heart - no matter the position. Favorite friend, favorite daughter, favorite parent, favorite student, favorite woman in bf's life, favorite employee, ad nauseum. I crave this status as favorite even when I don't deserve it. And even when it wouldn't make sense.
Over time, I have learned to control how I act on these feelings - I am fairly good at using logic to diffuse my bratty, fit-throwing two year old before I cause too much damage.
However, every once in awhile, that poisonous green fog envelops me in a way that I get disoriented. Especially when it comes to my kids.
I want for my children to have the healthiest relationship possible with both of their parents. I still believe that their dad is a fantastic father, and I also feel that we have both chosen romantic partners that care about our children.
But I want to be their FAVORITE.
I am rebelling.
I am working on pictures and cleaning out drawers and making myself notes to remember to send birthday and anniversary cards to obscure friends whose special occasion dates I just happen to remember even though I sometimes struggle to recall my own checking account number.
I am setting myself up for disaster and I have no earthly idea why.
Do you know why?
Will you tell me?
(Insert heart here.)
I can always tell when I think things are "good enough" in my life.
I stop wanting and wishing and grappling and wrangling. I stop creating and fulfilling and ...well, I stop writing.
Not that my writing betters anything - or changes anyone else's reality. The only one who notices when I take a sabbatical is me. It isn't like I am letting anyone down with my silence.
It is, however, my way of communicating with the temper tantrum, fit throwing, attention starving two-year old in my head. Writing is how I "hash it out" with myself. Most people are emotionally mature enough to be introspective without this process - I am not. Often, I will feel upset or on edge...and it takes me a good long time to identify what the cause really is! Sometimes I will erroneously attach my upset to whatever train is passing through the yard in an effort to make sense out of my feelings.
God help the human who is nearby when I am looking for a train to hang my upset on. My cargo is not light.
Sometimes it will take years for me to recognize my inappropriate identification of the issues, sometimes just days or hours. And sometimes you can't say you are sorry for the damage caused during the processing time involved. Or have already said it too many times to be effective.
So, I write.
And I can feel the bratty two-year old gearing up for a tantrum. Let's hope I can find out what her problem is before it becomes someone else's.
Tonight is one of those nights.
Yes, I have bills due. Yes, I have homework due and a quiz to take that I have no chance of passing (stupid college algebra - HATE it!). Yes, I miss my kids. Yes, I still am working life out day-to-day.
But guess what? I will always have a bill or two due...that's the way it is. And I love the fact that I get to do homework! How awesome is it that I am back in school?! And my kids come home on Sunday - lots of mommies don't get to say such a wonderful thing. And working life out in a day-to-day fashion keeps me humble and grateful.
...and now I am going to go crawl into a bed next to my sweetheart - I am a very blessed girl.
Tell me - what was the very best thing about your week? :)
It's all about perspective.
I know this.
We can each look at the same event and come away with a different life lesson or opinion.
We can change our attitude just by changing how we view our circumstances.
Sometimes, though? Sometimes I can't change my perspective and it takes a drastic measure on the Universe's part to wrench my gaze back to what really matters.
I tend to be a bit obsessive. I lock on to an idea, an exchange with another person, a relationship, or a hurt - mostly on to hurts and worries, and I can't break free. I mull it over fifty different directions, I dig up all of the details for rehashing, I talk about it incessantly, I make plans based on it's importance - and then when my focus changes, I look back and despise myself for my previous conduct. As you can probably guess, I get obsessed about my obsessiveness!
Do you, my dear friends, think that this lack of perspective/obsession problem is a chemical thing? A human condition? A gender issue? A psychotic tendency? An indicator of maturity?
I shall check back incessantly to see your answers.
With sharp words that shred and gouge each other, we try to protect our boundaries. We position ourselves for maximum security, minimal intrusion.
Our strength lies in steely resolution. It is maintained through tautness and and a resistance to the elements.
Let's, you and I, align ourselves. Let's entangle in such a way that our barbs don't dig at one another. Let's use our strength and stark beauty to bring peace to our granted parcels of earth, and to establish boundaries where nothing but love may enter.
Let's support each other's purpose.
Happy New Year, Friends. May 2011 bring you much joy, peace and blessings.
Tomorrow my kids go back to school. Tonight - after being on Christmas Vacation for the past...what? Three and a half weeks? ... my youngest son announces at the dinner table that he has 11 pages of homework due in the morning.
I know what you are thinking - surely since he is only in fourth grade, these are eleven worksheets with minimal effort required, right?
Uh-uh. Nope. Eleven pages of long division/cross-multiplication and graphing - with some word problems interspersed for maximum anxiety.
Because I want to be a good mommy (or at least appear to be a good mommy a few minutes of every day because I am sure that will add up over time to having a few years of appearing to be a good mommy) I sat with him at the kitchen table, with water glasses, a calculator (to check our answers only), and two pencils at the ready.
Things went just fine for the first 4 pages. The kid has long division down. No worries.
The fifth page? Cross-multiplying. The kid does NOT have this down. And the longer I tried to explain why the method he was using was wrong (as evidenced by the very wrong answers he was coming up with!!) the more he insisted that his teacher taught him how to do it just. that. way., and now I was trying to confuse him and get him in trouble with his teacher.
As he ultimately melted down into a puddle of anger, raging about how his teacher must have lied to him if he was wrong because she told him he did it right, *screambawlsniffwhine* I totally got why parents talk about struggling to help their kids with homework. I always thought it was because we just aren't as smart as we once were, and these kids are kicking our arses with the math and sciences they do these days!
I don't think that is the reason anymore. Well, maybe sometimes. But mostly - I think we don't want to help because it is just one more opportunity to have a power struggle. To have a fight with our loved ones. One more arena where parents get to reap what they sowed when they were being helped by their own parents way back in the day. One more place to battle and say things that we don't necessarily mean (WHY can't you just GET this? If you will just LISTEN to me instead of playing DUMB ....no honey, I don't think you are dumb. That is NOT what I said. No it isn't. NO it ISN'T. Fine! You think you know so much??! Time for you to go to bed! You can take this up with your TEACHER in the MORNING - and then you can tell me TOMORROW NIGHT how smart you are!! ....Love you, honey....sweet dreams....*sniff* ...you okay? I do love you...*sigh*) and one more opportunity to regret another parental transgression.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go work on seven more pages of math homework before I go to bed. Night, all.
So. What's been going on with you? How was your Thanksgiving? Are you getting ready for the Big Show AKA Christmas?
Things here are odd. I don't know what to call my relationship status, I am still unemployed, and my head is still a bit too noisy for my comfort.
But all in all, I am still a very blessed girl.
I am dreading Christmas, though, and that makes me sad. Dec 27 seems to be a much more preferred day - the pressure of providing a memorable Christmas with all of it's trappings is over, but the excitement of celebrating NYE is still in the anticipatory stage.
*Noisy Head Alert* I hope that I won't be spending NYE alone this year.
Or if I DO end up spending it alone, that I have a nice supply of cabernet, cheese and crackers.
That last post? Criminy. Yes, those things are true. Should I have made them a permanent fixture of my blogging record? No. Was there fallout across the board - from friends, family and even people I have never met (but hoped to meet in the future!)? Yes, oh yes there was.
It is what it is.
I think my idealism has taken a fatal hit right in the gut.
Sometimes things don't turn out the way I think they should. Sometimes they turn out so much better.
It's not because I don't need to, because OhMyGawd I do. I need to see my soul typing on the screen. I need to know that you are reading this and letting it touch some obscure part of your consciousness. It is the bane of being human - we need to know that we are connected, that we are normal, that we are valued, and that we are not feeling or doing anything that noone else is feeling or doing.
This time of my life? Such a whirlwind. I have learned and grown and regressed and destroyed and built more than any other phase in memory.
These last four months have been the most impactful and meaningful in history to me.
I love him, folks. I do.
It won't be any better without him, and I cannot stand to even attempt to do so anymore.
It won't be any better with him, at least at the level that I have expected him to perform at. And I am willing to deal with that.
I am changing my expectations. I am crying uncle. I am giving in...but I am not looking at it as settling.
I just need to be in his arms for the rest of my life.